Electricity pool changes underway

The Alberta government is making more changes to how it handles electricity as it transitions out of coal-firedpower.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is making more changes to how it handles electricity as it transitions out of coal-fired power.

The province is giving the entity that brokers the electricity system —known as the balancing pool — the ability to borrow money from the province to manage its funding obligations so those costs don’t get passed on to consumers.

The balancing pool was set up when Alberta deregulated electricity two decades ago, but Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says that was a flawed approach.

She says power companies are now returning money-losing power contracts to the balancing pool and any outstanding costs are passed on to ratepayers.

McCuaig-Boyd says other changes will keep electricity costs low and stable as Alberta shuts down all coal-fired electricity by 2030.

The province has also hired Robert Bhatia, a former senior civil servant, to be the new chairman of the balancing pool’s board of directors.